New Show Ad Taken Down from LA Buses for being Offensive




The newest Fox show, which aired September 17, Red Band Society, has already caused controversy in the streets of LA. The advertisement for the show (above) has been taken down from 190 Metro buses in Los Angeles, California. The show is a comedy-drama based on a group of kids living in a hospital. One has a heart condition, one an eating disorder, some with cancer, and one in a coma.

The ad was part of a campaign to promote Fox’s new show. It is a picture of all the main characters of the show with writing describing a little bit about them. The doctor is called the “Hot Doc,” one girl is called the “Mean Girl,” and one patient is called “The Rebel.” It seems that all the characters are a stereotypical high school kids, only they are not in high school.

The controversial part of this ad is one of the “labels” on the picture. Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer is called the “Scary Bitch.” Her role in the show is the tough nurse who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. Many people, including protestor Jasmyne Cannick, were outraged at the portrayal of this character. In a statement, Cannick said, “I don’t know if I find it more offensive because I’m black, or more offensive because I’m a woman. I sometimes think our city forgets that there are black people that still live here and call Los Angeles home.”



CBS Outdoor on the controversy said, “The advertisement depicts the nicknames of the characters used in the television series. Once we were made aware of public concern, we immediately began to remove the advertisements.” Also, a Fox spokeswoman said “Metro Los Angeles ultimately decided to take down the ads, and we respect that decision.We sincerely apologize if the copy was offensive to viewers.”

The mayor also played a role in the removal of the bus ads. He has asked the ad agency to “tighten up procedures” in regards to what they think is okay to advertise and what could be perceived as offensive to others.

All in all, the ad is not very offensive to me. I do not believe it was Fox’s intentions to produce an offensive advertisement. Octavia Spencer knows her role as the character Nurse Jackson. She is not offended by the characterization of her role, so why should other people? Clearly she knows her part and is okay with playing it.

So what do you think about the advertisement? Offensive or not? Should it have been kept up on the Metro in LA? Is America become too sensitive when it comes to advertising? Is there a line advertisers should not cross?




Fox, L. (2014, September 19). Los Angeles Metro Pulls Fox TV’s “Red Band Society”Ad. Retrieved September 23, 2014.

Quest7. (2014, September 22). ‘Red Band Society’ Ads Taken Down From LA Metro Buses After Complaints. Retrieved September 23, 2014.

Whitcomb, D. (2014, September 19). ‘Red Band Society’ bus ads pulled over sexist, racist language. Retrieved September 23, 2014.

6 thoughts on “New Show Ad Taken Down from LA Buses for being Offensive

  1. I think that the advertisement could have done just as well without having the word “bitch” in it. To me, it just seems inappropriate, not because it is particularly offensive, but that it could be seen by children who also ride the metro and are impressionable. It kind of surprises me that it would even make it to the metro to begin with,


  2. I agree with the comment above. The word “bitch” isn’t necessary and should not be on display in a public area. I understand that the advertisers were giving nicknames from the viewpoint of the teens, but a teen would never call someone a “crazy bitch” in front of an unknown adult (I hope…). That is why I don’t quite understand why “crazy bitch” was displayed for all of LA to see.


  3. I think if they had left “bitch” out of it then it would have been fine. Since the word is such a harsh one, I don’t think it should be used so freely in a public place like that. Definitely unnecessary.


  4. I have to agree with you and say that I don’t this ad is offensive. I am a firm believer in acting and know that Octavia Spencer is fulfilling her acting responsibility. She can say the same. Nowadays, there are too many people who are trying to find faults and are quick to jump to conclusions. Clearly, this was not CBS’s intention.


  5. Like most people have said, the word “bitch” wasn’t necessary. I don’t find it offensive though. There’s so much on TV that depicts things we don’t want our kids to see or that is controversial and calling a character a “scary bitch” is just mixed in with the rest. I think people are really trying to play up the race card because they can. Why not get upset at the depiction that the only other black on the show is a “player”? Seriously, can only blacks be players?

    It’s picking and choosing for the sake of creating controversy when most people, including blacks, don’t even see it.


  6. I personally as a black woman am not offended by this label. After seeing the commercials for this TV show I think the label is fitting and have no doubt that this would be the same case whether the character were black or white. I am confused as to why these protestors would want to make this a racial issue and I feel as though they need to calm down. Not everything is a race issue and I agree that if Octavia has no issue with the label herself then why should they. Interesting article.


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